How will actors’ strike affect Hallmark?

How will actors’ strike affect Hallmark?

The actors’ strike that has made headlines around the world could spell trouble for Hallmark fans. Now that filming has been brought to a halt across the country, it could mean a delay in new movies and TV shows being produced by all networks.

Several Hallmark stars have already spoken out on social media in support of SAG-AFTRA, a union that represents 160,000 actors across the country.

“Our resolve has never been stronger, and together we have an enormous power to effect change in the industry,” wrote Kristoffer Polaha in an Instagram post. “One day longer, one day stronger!”

Paul Greene also shared a message on Instagram.

“Always so many wild feelings, perspectives and ideas when this happens,” he wrote. “Praying for a swift solution and bright future in a craft I love….”

The strike

Representatives for SAG-AFTRA have been in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers over working conditions and pay.

Among the complaints brought by union members are the shorter duration of television shooting schedules, which means longer periods of time actors go without steady pay, and smaller residuals — amounts paid to actors each time a movie or show is aired.

Union leaders say residuals have taken a hit with the advent of streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

Members of the Writers Guild of America have been on strike for two months over similar issues. This is the first time since 1960 that SAG-AFTRA and the WGA have been on strike at the same time.

Catherine Bell, Rachel Boston, and Brennan Elliott are among the Hallmark stars who are being forced to drop out of Christmas Con due to scheduling conflicts. (Image: Instagram/@therealcatherinebell)

What happens at Hallmark?

Hallmark stars have already been affected. Catherine Bell, Brennan Elliott, Jen Lilley, and Rachel Boston had to pull out of a fan convention in June over scheduling conflicts, when production was moved forward on several movies in anticipation of a SAG-AFTRA strike.

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But many Hallmark films and shows are filmed in Canada. Supporting roles are often filled by members of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists. Thought the Canadian union has expressed solidarity with SAG-AFTRA and the WGA, ACTRA has not yet voted to go on strike.

This could make it possible for Hallmark Media to continue filming movies despite stalled negotiations in the U.S.

Countdown to Christmas

Many movies for Hallmark’s Countdown to Christmas event are already in the bag. Filming for the 2023 lineup began in January, and 18 movies have been made so far.

But since Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries routinely turn out dozens of holiday movies each year, it remains to be seen if the overall lineup of new movies will be slim this year.

When Calls the Heart

The good news for When Calls the Heart fans is that Season 10 is complete. The first episode will premiere on July 30.

Brian Bird, the show’s co-creator, says a number of arrangements have been made so that filming on Season 11 can begin on July 17 as planned.

As of publication, Hallmark had not yet commented on the strike. This is an ongoing story. We will update it as more information becomes available.

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